Bold, sassy and edgy – wrapped in backstories that bring a tear to the eye – Bleeding Edge is the closed beta baby of Ninja Theory. The same gaming development studio that blesses gamers worldwide with the likes of Devil May Cry and Hellblade. Announced at Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June 2019 shortly after Microsoft bought the studio. Ninja Theory didn’t miss a beat bringing us this 4v4 Team Fighter drenched in combos and topped off with 3rd person action.
So what is Bleeding Edge exactly?
Jumping in this Valentine’s day weekend for the first time I had huge plans to do other things and did none of them because this game is a ton of vivid, addictive fun. It probably didn’t help that I thought I’d heal the first match I play and jump on support fighter “Cool Zero.” Yes, I got myself annihilated in minutes by a pink-haired lady who is larger than life, riding a motorcycle wheel and wielding a bike saw that tore up my face. She and her belly button left an impression.
“Her” is Buttercup, a 38-year-old Cajun from Louisiana USA who finds her calling in life is motorcycles but has an accident that renders her unable to ride ever again. This is where every fighter’s bio draws similarity. Like Buttercup a physical tragedy occurs for every fighter that sees them receive augments, self-made, forgotten or taken unless magic is involved plus a sense of adventure. Technology runs through the veins of this game more than blood itself splattered with talk of experiments, fame, fortune and betrayal. At the heart of it all is mention of a masked man and skeleton keys that unites all of these renegades out to seek justice, make an impact or change authority as they know it.
The mastermind in both coding genius and martial arts prowess with a very personal corporate chip on his shoulder. Ready to bring down all the systems, seek utmost revenge and retribution Daemon is building an army and you guessed it, Bleeding Edge is it!
ALL MAPPED OUT
During the Bleeding Edge Closed BETA, we got to enjoy two maps, with their own objectives. The Boneyard and Skygarden, favoring the Boneyard because it’s harder to camp the respawn ramps. I also find timed vulnerability objectives to collect items then wait to drop off allows for more strategy, fewer steamrolls and an all-round good time to test your skills as you learn each fighter.
There is currently a third map on the table (the Aqueducts) but it wasn’t on the closed BETA menu for us to sample or if it was I didn’t come across it.
JUST GET IN AND COLLECT
So, as I mentioned already with Cool Zero and Buttercup – they were the first characters I played but it was actually Makutu that pulled my attention ALL the way in because he’s from New Zealand, Maori and has the lingo I miss everyday living in the USA. This barrel of an augmented fighter is one of the three tanks available to play which I tended to play most of during the weekend. There are also currently 3 support and 5 damage fighters with another on the horizon.
Winning currency for each map the store currently consists of cosmetics for your hoverboard mount you get to move around faster on and mods automatically get assigned to each fighter as you level playing each one. I enjoyed how fleshed out the game already was with spectator mode in place, leadership boards are ready to go and profiles collect all the stats we need to improve.
— 星钻Yao (@yaojiyue) February 15, 2020
Competitively Bleeding Edge has loads of potential to draw in leagues and organizations. As an e-sport, it could have everything in place to cater for excellency and with this, in mind, I am relieved to find my eyes (that cannot watch Overwatch long) enjoyed spectating and watching videos or streams of game play coverage.
Bleeding Edge offers familiar hero’s done well, what makes this game stand out is how much of a full package each fighter brings to the table. The fact that I DIDN’T roll my eyes like I normally do – playing a “been there and done that game” in a saturated market for the first time – speaks volumes. That we can swap our fighters every time we respawn currently also adds a layer of curiosity. I remember this ability in very few games whose names escape my mind right now but I am not 100% convinced that I appreciate that yet because I am pretty sure some changes by myself and my teammates resulted in a loss as a team.
Speaking of teams.
As you will have guessed because you are super cool and intelligent. Bleeding Edge is team-orientated and maximum enjoyment will be had to be in an organized one but as a solo/duo player I can confidentially share that there is still a ton of value and learning curb that is incredibly enjoyable. I found myself exclaiming or stopping altogether as I noticed a fighter’s abilities while experimenting and watching for combos that seemed even more lethal when combined with other fighters. I also had a ton of “grrr now I remember,” moments, especially as support and man, is Cool Zero’s “wall of doom” (Firewall) annoying as all heck not only on the enemy but also allies and when you use it yourself! I can’t rave enough about El Bastardo, he’s just one cool cat and Maeve is a slippery little sucker on the map BUT Makutu really has stolen my heart! When he and Buttercup get together OH MAN! Oh who am I kidding, they all rock in there own Bleeding Edge way!
THE FINE DETAILS
Ninja Theory are really taking this game to the next level, making sure all the bells and whistles are in place for launch March 24, 2020, and I will be there right along with y’all itching to get back in as this game has the potential to really be the next biggest thing among casuals, competitive players and everyone else in between!